THE DUCKS AND THE FROGS
chanced upon a certain day,
When cheerful Summer, bright and gay,Had brought once more her gift of flowers,To dress anew her pleasant bowers;When birds and insects on the wingMade all the air with music ring;When sunshine smiled on dell and knoll,Two Ducks set forth to take a stroll.'Twas morning; and each grassy bankOf cooling dew had deeply drank—Each fair young flower was holding upIts sweet and freshly painted cup,Filled with bright dew drops, every one;Gay, sparkling treasures for the sun,Who bears them lightly to the sky,Holds them as vapor far on high,Till with his rays in dazzling tints,The rainbow on the cloud he paints.But our two Ducks we'll not forget,They were not troubled by the wet;They rambled on, and soon they tookThe path that led them to a brook,
Whose sparkling waters danced along,With a gushing, rushing, rippling song.The ramblers, when they reached the brink,Stepped down to bathe, and take a drink.They loved to frolic, dive and dashBeneath the water with a splash.They washed and smoothed each glossy feather,Then said, "let's have a swim together!"As moving gracefully, they went,They heard loud tones of sad lament.They listened, and did sharply lookFor cause of woe in that sweet brook;And soon espied beneath some bushes,Among the reeds and tall, green rushes,A company of long-faced Frogs,A delegation from the bogs;Sitting with their up-turned faces,In attitudes to please the Graces,Around a stone, on which was speakingA member of this grave marsh meeting.The Ducks were pleased; they knew them all,For very often they did callAt that sweet brook, to hear them sing;They thought their music quite the thing."And now," said they, "we will draw near,"For much they wished to see and hearWhat was this fuss and noise about,So joined the party to find out.The Frogs received them with a smirk,And gave their hands with nervous jerk.Bowing and smiling in return,The Ducks prepared themselves to learn
From what the Orator might say,The cause of all their friends' dismay.Now the chief speaker in this scene,Dressed in a suit of bottle green,Folding his arms across his breast,Again the meeting thus addressed:"My friends," said he, "I'm rather hoarse,And must be brief in my discourse;But as these Ducks have joined our band,I wish to have them understandWe have not come to this fair spot,To break the peace or hatch a plot;But we have met to form a planTo waken in the heart of man,Pity for our sad condition.We would present a grave petition,Beseeching of the men who rule,That we, lone dwellers of the pool,May be permitted to resideIn safety, with our scanty tribe.We humbly say there's no occasion,To send an army of invasionInto our loved and quiet bogs,To murder happy, harmless Frogs.Take our own dear sons and daughters,Drag them from their winter quarters,Then, when no heart with pity melts,To cut them up as food for smelts!Think what a very shocking fate,Caught and killed, and used as bait,To take those harmless little fishesTo multiply man's dainty dishes."Now, as the Frog this sentence spoke,Each brother gave a solemn croak....